The Phases of Game Production, Part One – 6/11/12

Walt Yarbrough presenting to the SIP teams.

Last week, MassDiGI SIP staff member Walt Yarbrough, who has spent a large portion of his game industry career working on Dark Age of Camelot, took some time to describe the standard game production process. Walt broke down the production process into pieces, and I’ll be sharing the first couple with you!

Concept/Green Light

As it applies to SIP, Walt believes there are three key features to getting out of the concept phase. You must have a short, catchy elevator pitch that defines your game, a short, two page design document that outlines the core fun in your gameplay, and finally, a business model that works. Those three things are incredibly important and will form the basis of all of your future work.  I’ll go into depth about what they mean in future installments.


The demo is the first real test of the game. This is where you’ll be feeling out your technical constraints as well as encountering the problems in your design. This will define what your project’s realistic expectations are. If, for example, you want to have hundreds of units on screen and your hardware simply can’t support it at the graphics level you want, you have your constraint.


It’s important that the base gameplay works in your prototype. You need to have fun in there too. If your prototype isn’t fun to play and that’s your base gameplay, well…what are the odds that your game is going to be fun if you just keep layering stuff on top of it?

That’s all for now, but stay tuned for more soon! – Oleg Brodskiy

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Welcome to SIP! – 6/1/12

Members of Recruits discuss pre-production with Walt Yarbrough. From left to right: Alex Jersey, Jim McCarthy, Steve Everitt and Yarbrough.

Welcome to MassDiGI’s 2012 Summer Innovation Program Blog! We’ll be working throughout the summer to bring you regular updates from our game development projects as well as glimpses into the work of the project teams as they progress. Our goal is to shine a light on the game development process and share our experiences. Periodically, we’ll also have insights written by the team members themselves and the game industry mentors who guide them. But first, a little background.

The Summer Innovation Program, or SIP, was created to give college students an opportunity to spend 11 weeks immersed in a mentored game development environment. Essentially, SIP is a full-time, paid summer internship at a game development studio. When complete each student will be better prepared than ever enter the workforce or become an entrepreneur. SIP is underwritten by Becker College and an array of corporate supporters. (more…)

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